Born 1899 in Figeac, France, French-American actor Charles Boyer had his first film in L’homme du large (1920). At first, he performed film roles only for the money and found that supporting roles were unsatisfying. However, with the coming of sound, his deep voice made him a romantic star.
Boyer appeared in more than 80 films between 1920 and 1976. After receiving an education in drama, Boyer started on the stage, but he found his success in American films during the 1930s. His memorable performances were among the era’s most highly praised, in romantic dramas such as The Garden of Allah (1936), Algiers (1938), and Love Affair (1939), as well as the mystery-thriller Gaslight (1944).
Boyer received four Oscar nominations for Best Actor. He also appeared as himself on the CBS sitcom I Love Lucy. In 1960, he was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a motion pictures star and a television star. Both stars are located at 6300 Hollywood Boulevard.
Boyer was the husband of British actress Pat Paterson, whom he met at a dinner party in 1934. His only child, Michael Charles Boyer (1943-1965), died by suicide at age 21. On 26 August 1978, he died by suicide with an overdose of Seconal while at a friend’s home in Scottsdale, Arizona, two days after his wife’s death from cancer, and two days before his own 79th birthday.
Take a look at these vintage photos to see portraits of a young and handsome Charles Boyer from between the 1920s and 1940s.